SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MISSION IN HAITI UNTIL 30 JUNE
SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MISSION IN HAITI UNTIL 30 JUNE
SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MISSION IN HAITI UNTIL 30 JUNE19960229
The Security Council this evening extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH) for a final period of four months until 30 June, while decreasing the mission's troop level to no more than 1,200 and its civilian police personnel to no more than 300.
The Council took that action by unanimously adopting resolution 1048 (1996). The final extension of UNMIH is aimed at assisting the democratic Government of Haiti in fulfilling its responsibilities to sustain the secure and stable environment, which has been established and professionalized the Haitian National Police.
The Council requested the Secretary-General to take appropriate steps to further reduce UNMIH's strength consistent with the implementation of its mandate. The Secretary-General was further requested to initiate planning not later than 1 June for UNMIH's complete withdrawal and to report to the Council on the implementation of the resolution by 15 June, including information on activities by the United Nations system as a whole to promote the development of Haiti.
The Council requested all States to provide appropriate support for the actions undertaken by the United Nations and by Member States in the implementation of resolutions of the Council on Haiti. It reiterated the commitment of the international community and international financial institutions to assist and support the economic, social, and institutional development of Haiti and stressed its importance for sustaining a secure and stable environment in the country.
The Council appealed to Member States to make voluntary contributions to the trust fund established in Council resolution 975 (1995) for the support of the Haitian National Police.
Statements were made by the representatives of Haiti, Italy, on behalf of the European Community, Russian Federation, Indonesia, Botswana, Honduras, Republic of Korea, Poland, Guinea-Bissau, Egypt, China, United Kingdom, Chile, Germany, France, United States and Canada.
Security Council - 1a - Press Release SC/6188 3638th Meeting (Night) 29 February 1996
Citing his country's determination not to abandon Haiti at the current critical stage, the representative of Canada said his Government had decided to make essential military personnel available for the Mission, entirely at its own expense. However, it would have very much preferred to have seen the Council accept the Secretary-General's recommendations in their entirety, which sought to establish the minimum viable force required at an acceptable degree of risk.
"This is a collective UN responsibility and should be organized and resourced accordingly", he said. However, given the alternative of no force at all, Canada decided to bridge the gap between what the Council could agree on and the Secretary-General's requirements. That was "certainly not an ideal arrangement, and not one that we see as providing a model for future UN peace- keeping". All Member States should, through assessed contributions, help shoulder the burden of maintaining international peace and security, he said.
The meeting, which was called to order at 6:15 p.m., adjourned at 7:56 p.m.
Report of the Secretary-General
As the Security Council met this evening to take up the situation in Haiti, it had before it a report of the Secretary-General (document S/1996/112) in which he recommends that the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH) be extended for a six-month period until 31 August, and that the strength of both its military and civilian police (CIVPOL) components be reduced. He points out that while some of the functions of UNMIH have been transferred to new Haitian institutions, a reduction of the size of the Mission is also necessitated by the financial crisis of the United Nations.
According to the report, continuing UNMIH for a six-month period would cost approximately $56.1 million. Should the Council decide to extend the mandate of UNMIH, the Secretary-General would seek the additional resources required from the General Assembly. In the meantime, he will look for further opportunities to economize "so that UNMIH can complete its tasks at the lowest possible cost".
The report was submitted pursuant to resolution 1007 (1995) in which the Council decided to extend the mandate of UNMIH until 29 February 1996 and requested that the Secretary-General report on the "next steps in the areas of security, law enforcement and humanitarian assistance, ... which the international community may take to help Haiti to achieve a long-term future that is secure, stable and free". The report takes into account a letter, dated 9 February 1996 (document S/1996/99), in which the newly elected President of Haiti asks the Secretary-General to take steps to extend UNMIH's mandate "so that a gradual withdrawal may take place in the months ahead".
"Haiti has witnessed the orderly and constitutional transfer of power from one democratically elected president to another", the Secretary-General reports. The UNMIH, since it took over responsibilities from the multinational force on 31 March 1995, has assisted the Government of Haiti in sustaining a secure and stable environment and protecting international personnel and key installations. It established an environment conducive to the organization of free legislative, local and presidential elections and provided technical assistance for the entire electoral process. It has assisted with the creation of the Haitian National Police, providing on-the- job training and guidance to the new Haitian policemen.
Political activity during the period covered by the report centred around the presidential election. The Provisional Electoral Council has been widely credited with having improved the openness and transparency in the electoral process and UNMIH provided extensive technical assistance and
Security Council - 4 - Press Release SC/6188 3638th Meeting (Night) 29 February 1996
logistical support. Although some have expressed disappointment at the low voter turnout (about 28 per cent), the new President assumed power on 7 February 1996.
The security situation, according to the report, had improved in September and October 1995, but deteriorated abruptly following the 7 November attack against two deputies, one of whom was killed and the other seriously injured. On 11 November, President Jean Bertrand Aristide, in highly emotional remarks at the funeral service for the slain deputy, called for immediate and total disarmament and accused the international community of complacency in that regard. Agitation quickly spread and violent incidents left at least seven people dead, many more injured and considerable property damage. The police, with the support of UNMIH, re-established control.
The Secretary-General notes that while UNMIH has enjoyed the support of the majority of the Haitian people, small groups on both sides of the political spectrum have opposed what they call the United States "invasion" of September 1994 and the perceived "occupation" of the country by both the United States and the United Nations. Despite a few specific attacks against UNMIH, there is no indication of any organized threat against UNMIH personnel. Common crime, however, remains a very serious problem throughout the country, especially for the poorer section. Incidents involving theft of property from UNMIH's installations and personnel have lately become more frequent.
The report states that currently more than 3,600 newly trained Haitian National Police personnel have been deployed, more than 750 new police graduates are currently being deployed and the last class has completed its training. Haitian police officers are generally well motivated and willing to work, but they are young and inexperienced and lack proper infrastructure and equipment. The most serious concern is the absence of competent senior officers and overall leadership.
Inadequate experience and leadership has sometimes led to the use of unwarranted or disproportionate force, the report states. Lack of leadership has also affected discipline, resulting in incorrect behaviour, which in turn undermines the authority of the force. The young officers need the support that only the physical presence and guidance of experts and seasoned policemen can provide. The Secretary-General appeals to Member States to contribute generously to the dedicated Trust Fund for Haiti in order to enhance the capabilities of the Haitian National Police.
The situation of the penitentiary system remains critical, the report says. The lack of infrastructure and equipment hampers the functioning of the inexperienced and overburdened National Penitentiary Administration. There had been a sharp increase in the prison population and the Ministry of Justice is coordinating efforts to prevent unnecessary arrests and to accelerate the processing of prisoner files by the judicial system. A joint National
Security Council - 5 - Press Release SC/6188 3638th Meeting (Night) 29 February 1996
Penitentiary Administration-Haitian National Police working group will prepare plans to improve prison security. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the French Government have agreed to co-finance a $ 2.9 million project, expected to begin by mid-February, for the rehabilitation of jails and the training of penitentiary personnel.
Public investments have continued, but private investments have remained sluggish and instances of the flight of capital have reappeared, the report states. Local and foreign businessmen are cautious and uncertain about conditions after the departure of UNMIH. The rise in prices for food products has been sharper than the rise in the cost-of-living index, partly explaining the considerable increase in public demonstrations. Dependence on foreign assistance has remained high. The public investment or "development" budget is expected to be financed by foreign non-concessional and aid funds.
The report notes that 16 Latin American and Caribbean countries met in Port-au-Prince in November to negotiate 144 development cooperation projects with the Haitian authorities. That unprecedented effort at horizontal cooperation led to agreement on 22 projects totally financed and 73 projects partially financed by Latin American and Caribbean countries.
The United Nations specialized agencies and programmes have taken further steps to help the emergency economic recovery programme, while paying increasing attention to the developmental aspects of their activities, the report continues. These institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have identified the following elements as critical: the link between security and development; poverty alleviation; improved governance and protection and regeneration of the environment; and increased participation of women to make the most effective use of the country's human resources. Increased absorption capacity is also a concern.
In October 1995, the Secretary-General began to reduce UNMIH's staff. By the end of February, only 155 international civilian staff, 29 United Nations Volunteers and 237 local staff members will remain in UNMIH. A phased reduction of CIVPOL personnel was conducted between October 1995 and January 1996, when 539 personnel left Haiti. At the end of February, a total of approximately 300 French-speaking personnel from Algeria, Benin, Canada, Djibouti, France, Mali, Togo and the Russian Federation will remain in Haiti. On the military side, the troop level will be down to 4,100 combat personnel by 29 February.
Although there is no indication of an organized threat to the Government, the report says, there is concern that growing popular discontent could be used by disgruntled groups to foment trouble. Widespread unemployment and underemployment and other economic hardships is provoking restiveness among the people. The new President will have to make difficult
Security Council - 6 - Press Release SC/6188 3638th Meeting (Night) 29 February 1996
decisions to energize economic development and attract domestic and foreign investment. But, for those efforts to succeed, the security climate needs to be judged satisfactory and stable by prospective investors. The direction of social and economic policies will remain the key determinant of private investment and improved living conditions. In the current context, policy decisions in the first months of the new Government and improved administrative management will be critical for private resource mobilization, as well as for the ability to put available foreign aid to meaningful use.
It is essential, the Secretary-General says, that while the Haitian National Police is completing preparation for the full assumption of its duties, UNMIH should continue to provide support to the Government of Haiti in its efforts to exercise its responsibility for the maintenance of law and order. It must be clear, however, that the efforts devoted to the implementation of UNMIH's mandate would have to take into account its reduced strength as well as improved conditions in Haiti and the new Government's objectives. Primary responsibility for the maintenance of a stable and secure environment rests with the Haitian Government.
In order to achieve the Mission's objectives, 1,600 infantry personnel, 300 combat support personnel, 300 CIVPOL, 160 international civilian staff, 18 United Nations Volunteers and 150 local staff would be required. For an orderly transition to a smaller military component of UNMIH, the United States would end its peace-keeping commitment to UNMIH as of 29 February 1996, but leave 320 support personnel until no later than 15 April 1996. As of 15 March 1996, the strength of UNMIH's military component would be 2,700 personnel. No later than mid-April, the strength of the military component would be 1,600 infantry and 300 combat support personnel.
The Council also has before it a draft resolution (document S/1996/136) sponsored by Argentina, Canada, Chile, France, Honduras, United States and Venezuela, which reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling the provisions of its resolutions 841 (1993) of 16 June 1993, 861 (1993) of 27 August 1993, 862 (1993) of 31 August 1993, 867 (1993) of 23 September 1993, 873 (1993) of 13 October 1993, 875 (1993) of 16 October 1993, 905 (1994) of 23 March 1994, 917 (1994) of 6 May 1994, 933 (1994) of 30 June 1994, 940 (1994) of 31 July 1994, 944 (1994) of 29 September 1994, 948 (1994) of 15 October 1994, 975 (1995) of 7 February 1995 and 1007 (1995) of 31 July 1995.
"Recalling also the resolutions adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on Haiti,
Security Council - 7 - Press Release SC/6188 3638th Meeting (Night) 29 February 1996
"Recalling also the terms of the Governors Island Agreement (S/26063) and the related Pact of New York (S/26297),
"Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 14 February 1996 (S/1996/112) and noting the recommendations contained therein,
"Taking note of the letters of 9 February 1996 from the President of the Republic of Haiti to the Secretary-General of the United Nations (S/1996/99 and A/50/861/Add.1),
"Underlining the importance of the peaceful transfer of power to the new democratically elected President of Haiti,
"Welcoming and supporting the efforts of the Organization of American States to promote in cooperation with the United Nations consolidation of peace and democracy in Haiti,
"Stressing the need to ensure that the Government of Haiti will be able to maintain the secure and stable environment established by the Multinational Force in Haiti (MNF) and maintained with the assistance of the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH), and in this context welcoming progress to establish a fully functioning Haitian National Police and to revitalize Haiti's system of justice,
"Recognizing the link between peace and development and that a sustained commitment by the international community to assist and support the economic, social and institutional development of Haiti is indispensable for long-term peace an stability in the country,
"Commending the efforts of the Secretary-General and his Special Representative, the contribution of UNMIH and the International Civilian Mission (MICIVIH) in support of the Haitian people's quest for stability, national reconciliation, lasting democracy, constitutional order and economic prosperity,
"Acknowledging the contribution of the international financial institutions, including the Inter-American Development Bank, and the importance of their continued involvement in the development of Haiti,
"Recognizing that the people of Haiti bear the ultimate responsibility for national reconciliation, the maintenance of a secure and stable environment and reconstruction of their country,
"1. Welcomes the democratic election of a new President in Haiti and the peaceful transfer of power from one democratically elected President to another on 7 February 1996;
Security Council - 8 - Press Release SC/6188 3638th Meeting (Night) 29 February 1996
"2. Expresses appreciation to all Member States which have contributed to UNMIH;
"3. Welcomes the report of the Secretary-General of 14 February 1996 and notes his recommendations for continued United Nations assistance to the democratically elected Government of Haiti;
"4. Reaffirms the importance of a professional, self-sustaining, fully functioning national police force of adequate size and structure to the consolidation of peace, stability and democracy and revitalization of Haiti's system of justice;
"5. Decides in accordance with the recommendations of the Secretary-General's report of 14 February 1996, that for the purpose of assisting the democratic Government of Haiti in fulfilling its responsibilities to (a) sustain by UNMIH's presence the secure and stable environment which has been established, and (b) professionalize the Haitian National Police, the mandate of UNMIH is extended for the final period of four months, for the purposes set out in paragraphs 47, 48 and 49 of the report;
"6. Decides to decrease the troop level of UNMIH to no more than 1,200;
"7. Decides to reduce the current level of civilian police personnel to no more than 300;
"8. Requests the Secretary-General to consider and implement, as appropriate, steps for further reduction of the strength of UNMIH consistent with the implementation of this mandate;
"9. Requests further the Secretary-General to initiate planning not later than 1 June 1996 for the complete withdrawal of UNMIH;
"10. Requests the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of this resolution by 15 June 1996 including information on activities by the United Nations system as a whole to promote the development of Haiti;
"11. Requests all States to provide appropriate support for the actions undertaken by the United Nations and by Member States pursuant to this and other relevant resolutions, in order to carry out the provisions of the mandate as set out in paragraph 5 above;
"12. Reiterates the commitment of the international community and international financial institutions to assist and support the economic, social and institutional development of Haiti and stresses its importance for sustaining a secure and stable environment in Haiti;
"13. Appeals to Member States to make voluntary contributions to the
Security Council - 9 - Press Release SC/6188 3638th Meeting (Night) 29 February 1996
trust fund established in resolution 975 (1995) for the support of the Haitian National Police, to ensure that the police are adequately trained and fully operational, which is essential for the implementation of the mandate;
"14. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
PIERRE LELONG (Haiti) expressed appreciation to the Council for its consideration of the request by his Government to further extend the mandate of UNMIH. The continuation of its work would provide support to Haiti's young national police, as they acquired the experience and equipment they needed. Since taking over from the multinational force, UNMIH had accomplished its task with merit, helping to rebuild the infrastructure that had been destroyed during the period of the coup d'etat.
There was now cause for optimism, he said. Efforts had been undertaken to make up for the backlog caused by the coup d'etat. Elections had been held. The leaders chosen through democratic elections were carrying out their functions, and a democratically-elected President had turned over the office to another democratically-elected President. Parliament was playing its role under the Constitution, as well. The Deputies and Senators of the Republic took their responsibilities seriously and did not hesitate to call the executive to account in the performance of its duties.
He said considerable progress had been achieved in addressing the struggle against insecurity. As the role of public security forces had been strengthened, with UNMIH's assistance, security had improved. Nevertheless, the security situation remained precarious, and there were serious risks of disturbances. Violent demonstrations had caused more than seven deaths. Protests had been mounted regrading the cost of living and other economic problems. The Government sought to provide an adequate response to such activities.
Today, Haiti's police were carrying out admirable work and had won the approval of the population, he said. Nevertheless, they still needed more experience, while the required equipment was lacking. They also lacked leadership. In view of the tendency for the people to take justice into their own hands, the creation of the school of magistrates was of enormous importance. The Government had also given attention to the functioning and state of repair of the prison system. That had resulted in improving the detention conditions of prisoners.
In the course of the past 16 months, Haiti had been evolving in a positive direction, but the work had not yet been completed, he said. Elements likely to reverse the trend towards progress still existed. The
Security Council - 10 - Press Release SC/6188 3638th Meeting (Night) 29 February 1996
Government was deeply disquieted by the activities of the enemies of democracy, who did not consider themselves to have been vanquished. The departure of UNMIH on 29 February would leave a considerable gap, which the national police would not be able to fill. If UNMIH were to leave now, that would imperil all the thus far striking efforts towards democracy.
FRANCESCO PAOLO FULCI (Italy), speaking on behalf of the European Union and Bulgaria (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, said the Council's adoption of the resolution would represent a positive step towards further consolidating Haitian democracy and institutions. The European Union had repeatedly emphasized the need for the Haitian situation to evolve in such a way as to assure stability, security and peaceful coexistence for all members of Haitian society, fostering economic growth and allowing the country to reap the benefits of the efforts made by the international community.
The election of President Rene Preval was a decisive moment, he continued. As the European Union had stated, that had made possible the transfer of office from one democratically-elected President to another for the first time in Haiti's history. On that occasion the European Union had expressed its confidence that President Preval would complete, in a framework of national reconciliation and justice, the work that his predecessor had undertaken in difficult conditions.
He said the positive outcome of the Haiti operation rested also on the possibility that over the next few months the various sectors of the population could be made aware that there was no better alternative to solving the country's problems than properly functioning democratic institutions and full respect for human rights. In fact, as had been said on many occasions in the Council, the final results of the peace-keeping operation remained in the hands of the Haitian population. However, it was important to recognize the significant roles played by regional cooperation in the solution of the Haitian crisis. Among the factors which had led to the success already achieved, he said the initiatives undertaken by the Organization of American States (OAS), and its close cooperation with the United Nations, had certainly contributed to today's results.
The European Union trusted that the further commitment of resources by the United Nations at such a critical point in the financial situation of the Organization would convey to the international public opinion the message of the unique and irreplaceable role of the United Nations.
SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) said his country always considered the Haitian problem to be unique. Although events in Haiti did not constitute a threat to international peace and security, the Council had met the Government halfway. Since then, the process of stabilization in Haiti had increased. The activities of UNMIH deserved the highest praise in promoting
Security Council - 11 - Press Release SC/6188 3638th Meeting (Night) 29 February 1996
that progress. Any substantial improvement in social and economic conditions would provide the basis for democracy.
It was also important to support the Haitian national police, which had just been established, he said. That would be helped by maintaining the United Nations presence. Nevertheless, his country had reservations about continuing the presence at United Nations expense, and that concern had been reflected in the draft resolution. That text, therefore, spoke unconditionally about the last extension of UNMIH's mandate. The focus of the international presence in Haiti should be shifted towards improving Haiti's economic and social conditions.
MAKARIM WIBISONO (Indonesia) said UNMIH had proved itself to be another United Nations success story. Its mandate had been largely achieved. In less than one year after it took over from the multinational force, UNMIH had achieved some truly impressive goals. Moreover, due to the assistance provided by UNMIH, and the international community, Haiti had had free legislative, local and presidential elections. On 7 February, Haiti had achieved an important milestone in experiencing its first peaceful transfer of power from one democratically-elected President to another since Haiti's independence in 1804. Those elections had been a positive development in the consolidation of Haiti's democracy. In that regard, it gave special thanks to Lakhadar Brahimi, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Haiti, for his demonstrated leadership which helped to ensure success of UNMIH. He paid tribute to the men and women of the UNMIH for their brave and dedicated work in securing peace and stability in Haiti under difficult circumstances.
Much of the success in Haiti could be attributed to a unique combination of peace-keeping and post-conflict peace-building efforts, he said. In that connection, sustained humanitarian and technical assistance along with financial commitments on behalf of the international community, was important. It was also in that context that Indonesia applauded the efforts undertaken by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, along with some eight United Nations agencies for their valuable contributions to the implementation of the emergency economic recovery programme, while paying particular attention to the developmental aspects of their activities. Also, internal security and economic development in Haiti would remain elusive without a strong system of justice. Indonesia was pleased that major advances were being made in the creation of a professional Haitian National Police, its prison system and judicial infrastructure.
Despite the consideration progress that had been achieved towards national reconciliation, democratic rule and reconstruction in Haiti, he cautioned against unbridled optimism. The simple fact remained that much still needed to be accomplished before sufficient momentum in the development of Haiti's institutions was established. The fragile nature of stability was evident by the recent reports of looting, demonstrations arson, vigilante
Security Council - 12 - Press Release SC/6188 3638th Meeting (Night) 29 February 1996
justice and common crime that had occurred in various places across Haiti. He was also concerned with reports of deteriorating economic conditions, including a depreciating current, higher unemployment and underemployment, rising inflation and decline in private investment and revived instances of capital flight.
Haiti stood at a crossroads, he said, adding that while significant progress had been made since its return to a constitutional Government, challenges persisted. The first obstacle that should be surmounted with the smooth transition of power, which was a prerequisite for sustaining both internal and international confidence. Additionally, the National Police Force was not adequately trained or fully operational. That was a vital aspect to removing Haiti from its turbulent past, and pointing in a direction of political stability, lasting democracy, constitutional order, economic prosperity and national reconciliation. In both of those instances, the presence of UNMIH had had a qualitative impact.
After careful consideration, he said, he would vote in favour of the draft resolution. The new Government of Haiti and its people would significant benefit from the additional assistance. Furthermore, in consideration of recent developments in Haiti the emphasis of UNMIH personnel should be directed towards bolstering the civilian police force to more accurately reflect and compensate for the changing nature of Haiti's security needs and present conditions.
He therefore underscored the importance of transferring task from the UNMIH to the Government of Haiti, so that they would be adequately prepared to fully assume the responsibility for their security and stability at the conclusion of the mandate. He stressed, however, that while UNMIH, along with the generous support of the international community, had made profound contribution to easing the harsh humanitarian conditions in Haiti and assisting in building its institutions, the ultimate responsibility for achieving lasting national reconciliation and reconstruction resided with the people of Haiti,
LEGWAILA J.M.J. LEGWAILA (Botswana) said UNMIH had done a commendable job in assisting in establishing a secure and stable environment, organizing successful municipal and legislative elections, and managing the smooth transition from one democratically-elected President to another. The people of Haiti had rejected the old oligarchic and despotic rule and embraced a new democratic culture. However, much remained to be done. Almost everything in Haiti hinged on the question of security. The consolidation of democracy, rule of law, foreign and domestic investment and economic development would thrive only if peace and security were assured.
There still remained bitter opposition in Haiti among small political parties, the wealthy and powerful elite, and remnants of the former Haitian
Security Council - 13 - Press Release SC/6188 3638th Meeting (Night) 29 February 1996
army and paramilitary groups, he said. What was required was a "mop-up action, like any good general would do after a successful battle", he said. Botswana, therefore, supported the extension of UNMIH's mandate for another four months, so that there could be complete certainty about the security situation in the country.
GERARDO MARTINEZ BLANCO (Honduras) said enormous social and humanitarian problems remained to be faced in Haiti. The roots of instability must be eradicated, and the achievements of democracy supported. One of the most sensitive problems was that of internal security and crime. Although progress had been made in the training of police personnel and the provision of equipment, much remained to be done to ensure that Haiti would have a police force of sufficient size, training and equipment. He appealed to all States to continue to contribute to the establishment of an effective national police force in Haiti. Efforts must also be made to continue to improve the prison system, which was in critical condition.
Another important aspect of consolidating democracy in Haiti concerned the indissoluble link between security and development, he said. The United Nations must seek to mitigate poverty there and promote the regeneration of the environment in Haiti. International economic cooperation must continue, in view of Haiti's bleak prospects at present. The efforts of UNMIH had made it possible to maintain a climate of stability in Haiti. Its continued presence was essential to assist the Government to maintain security and stability, and to secure establishment of a professional national police force.
PARK SOO GIL (Republic of Korea) said that among the positive steps which had been taken since the extension of UNMIH's mandate seven months ago, the peaceful transfer of power from one democratically elected President to another through free elections had marked a watershed in the political development of Haiti. He congratulated the Government and the people of Haiti for that monumental feat and hoped that the Haitian Government would continue to consolidate those achievements.
Much of the progress could be attributed to the valuable contributions of UNMIH, he continued. Through the commitment and hard work of its staff, UNMIH had successfully carried the peace-keeping operation over into post- conflict peace-building, thereby realizing one of the key concepts in An Agenda for Peace. He noted that the Haitian experience had demonstrated the value of cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations. The close collaboration between UNMIH and the Organization of American States (OAS) had brought about optimal benefits to the peace-keeping efforts in Haiti.
He said the situation in Haiti was still tenuous and required a continued vigilance from the international community. In particular, long- term stability in Haiti required the establishment of a full-functioning police force capable of independently maintaining law and order and a far- reaching reform of the judicial system. His country attached marked importance to the institution-building process in Haiti and particularly recognized the urgent need for adequate resources to equip the Haitian police. For that reason, it had donated $200,000 to the United Nations Trust Fund for the Haitian Police created by resolution 975 (1995).
Security Council - 14 - Press Release SC/6188 3638th Meeting (Night) 29 February 1996
He said the socio-economic problems plaguing Haiti deserved equal attention, and the international community should place increased focus on the economic and social development of Haiti. He looked forward to the firm commitment of the Haitian Government to carrying out economic reforms which would create an environment conducive to further inducing foreign investment and assistance. The people of Haiti bore the ultimate responsibility for the course of their future. To sustain the momentum of the ongoing process of democratization and economic and social stabilization there, his country supported the continued presence of UNMIH for a period of four months with a reduced troop level of 1,500 as provided for in the draft resolution. His delegation would, therefore, vote in favour of the draft resolution.
SBIGNIEW M. WLOSOWICZ (Poland) said he associated himself with the statement made on behalf of the European Union. He acknowledged the enormous tasks that the duly elected President of Haiti faced and judged his request for a further extension of the mandate of UNMIH to be particularly well- grounded. The extension of UNMIH would contribute to strengthening the fragile institutions of Haitian democracy and to making the Haitian Government more functional. It would allow UNMIH to complete the work it had embarked upon and, thus, enable the Government of Haiti to profit fully from the efforts of the international community to lift Haiti out of political, social and economic destitution.
Since lasting democracy required the solid foundation of law, the process of building a functioning judicial system and a professional civilian police force in Haiti was of paramount importance for the future of that country, he said. The assistance of UNMIH continued to be indispensable, and it was precisely for that reason that the renewal of its mandate was specifically aimed at giving the new Haitian National Police more time to gain experience and at attending to the revitalization of Haiti's system of justice.
The extension of the UNMIH mandate might also be regarded as a useful exercise in the transfer from mainly peace-keeping to essentially peace- building activities of United Nations operations, he said. A successful completion of the operation in Haiti was badly needed most of all by its people, who had suffered so much and had just been given hope. Success was also needed by the international community, which had desperately tried to help the Haitian nation at the time of dramatic transition. The United
Security Council - 15 - Press Release SC/6188 3638th Meeting (Night) 29 February 1996
Nations needed a democratic and properly functioning Haiti in the international community. The United Nations had an excellent chance to show the world that it was effective in a difficult and sensitive area of maintaining international peace and security. That chance should not be missed.
ADELINO MANO QUETA (Guinea-Bissau) said he welcomed the Secretary- General's report, and congratulated UNMIH for the progress made in the fulfillment of its mandate. That included providing assistance in maintaining a secure climate, ensuring the desired conditions for the holding of elections, and creating the conditions for the establishment of a professional national police force. However, continued international assistance was required in order to consolidate democracy, peace, tolerance and prosperity in Haiti. Such elements were essential conditions for any lasting economic and social development.
NABIL A. ELARABY (Egypt) said the report of the Secretary-General indicated that the United Nations had experienced a sure success in the work of UNMIH. The mission had assisted the Government in maintaining security and stability during the transitional period to democracy. There was a close connection between the need for social and economic development in Haiti and the importance of the international presence in maintaining stability. It was very important that the international community should approve any such request for security assistance from a developing country. Egypt approved the extension of UNMIH's mandate for a further four months. Haiti should be the first to receive the fruits of the United Nations efforts in post-conflict peace-building.
QIN HUASUN (China) said his Government had all along supported the peace process in Haiti, as well as the positive efforts made by the Secretary- General, his Special Representative, the OAS, Latin American countries and UNMIH in restoring peace and stability in Haiti. It hoped that the Haitian people would live a happy and peaceful life. It was in that spirit that he had voted in favour of an overwhelming majority of resolutions on Haiti adopted by the Council.
China was pleased to note the substantive progress made in the Haitian peace process, he continued. The primary task now facing Haiti was rehabilitation and reconstruction. The question of security was undoubtedly important for Haiti's development. The maintenance of a secure environment or economic development could ultimately rest on the Haitian people themselves, with the help of the international community. Other United Nations bodies and some countries could play a proper role. At the same time, considering precedents in other United Nations peace-keeping operations and the current serious financial difficulties of the United Nations, he believed that UNMIH should withdraw as scheduled.
Security Council - 16 - Press Release SC/6188 3638th Meeting (Night) 29 February 1996
However, he continued, considering the suggestion of the Secretary- General and the request of the Haitian Government, the attitude of the Latin American and non-aligned countries on the question of UNMIH, his delegation exercised maximum flexibility during the consultations of the Council and did its best to find a compromise proposal. He would vote in favour of the draft resolution, since his delegation's amendments had been incorporated.
The draft text was then adopted unanimously as resolution 1048 (1996).
Speaking after the vote, STEPHEN GOMERSALL (United Kingdom) said UNMIH had been a notable success for the United Nations. The Secretary-General and his Special Representative, those Member States which had given particular assistance to the process and the Government and people of Haiti, were to be congratulated on the progress which had been achieved. The approach adopted by the United Nations had been an imaginative one, embracing the promotion both of stability and of development in one of the world's poorest countries.
He said UNMIH had more to do. Its mission was now at a sensitive stage. Security and stability had yet finally to be assured. More work remained to be done, in particular in relation to the National Police Force. It was for those reasons that his Government strongly supported the resolution. Elaboration of it was not an easy process. The United Kingdom had found it difficult to understand some of the problems which had been raised over the Secretary-General's recommendations on the strength of the force and the duration of its mandate. It paid tribute to the Government of Canada for the lead it had taken in making UNMIH's continuation possible. It was a source of great satisfaction to his delegation that UNMIH would now be able to continue it mission into the stabilization phase.
JUAN SOMAVIA (Chile) expressed appreciation to the Secretary-General for his report on Haiti and congratulated all those who cooperated in the success of the mission. For the first time in Haiti, a change of governments and of presidents had taken place in a clean, impartial and peaceful manner. The United Nations crucial role in that process had been universally recognized. The extension of UNMIH's mandate was proof of the importance which the Council placed on supporting the peace process in Haiti and seeing it consolidated.
He said Haiti had become the second country in the region which based its security solely on internal forces. It was, therefore, necessary to professionalize and strengthen the police. The region would continue to cooperate to promote reconstruction efforts in Haiti. Special attention must be given to mitigating poverty and to micro-economic support.
The concept of peace was now no longer limited to the absence of war for the Security Council, he said. It also included security and development, as demonstrated by the Council's action in Haiti. Progress in those areas was essential for promoting peace and stability. International support,
Security Council - 17 - Press Release SC/6188 3638th Meeting (Night) 29 February 1996
particularly from the United Nations system, was fundamental in consolidating the values of democracy. The United Nations could not consider its mission accomplished if it secured only an atmosphere of tranquility. There must also be economic reconstruction and rehabilitation.
GERHARD HENZE (Germany) said he associated himself fully with the statement made on behalf of the European Union. His country had strongly supported the first draft resolution, which had been presented by the Friends of Haiti, and was, therefore, less happy with the final outcome of the informal consultations in the Council. Like others, he knew that more time was needed to help create a really stable situation in Haiti. The improvements which had been achieved in Haiti could have been jeopardized by an immediate withdrawal of UNMIH. That was why he had voted for the resolution. In the four months to come, UNMIH would continue to contribute to the maintenance of a secure and stable environment for the rebuilding of the country and to the establishment of a well-trained Haitian national police, to which those functions would be transferred.
He congratulated the Government and the people of Haiti on the progress already achieved, especially in the political field. He was confident that the new Haitian leadership would contribute to national reconciliation and the creation of a national consensus that united all parts of Haitian society in an effort to rebuild and develop the country. A unified effort by all Haitians would be indispensable for further substantial progress in the political, economic and social fields.
He hoped that UNMIH, even under limited mandate, would help Haiti in its efforts to stabilize and rebuild the country and to continue on the way towards the establishment of strong democratic structures. Germany had actively supported the efforts of the international community to consolidate the democratic order in Haiti. It had provided election observers for the parliamentary and local elections in June and September 1995, as well as for the presidential elections in December. Together with its partners in the European Union, and as a member of various international organizations, it was providing economic assistance for Haiti. Bilaterally, it had, at present, earmarked DM 105 million for economic cooperation with Haiti, the main focus of which was a food security programme.
ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said that Haiti had demonstrated its commitment to democracy. The United Nations effort in Haiti had been successful. Following deployment of the multinational force, the presence of UNMIH allowed Haiti to live through a peaceful political transition for the first time in its history. That presence made possible the establishment of a safe and stable environment. The Council had approved Haiti's request for an extension of UNMIH's mandate, with the aim of assisting the newly established national police. It was hoped that continued international assistance would help Haiti to continue on the road to democracy and development.
Security Council - 18 - Press Release SC/6188 3638th Meeting (Night) 29 February 1996
MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT (United States) said today marked another milestone in Haiti's journey from tyranny to democracy. The United Nations mission in Haiti had helped to ensure a climate of security within which free elections could be held and a new President inaugurated. For the first time in Haiti's history political power had been transferred from a President elected by the people to a new President also elected by the people without violence and with respect for democratic principles. That was an advance for freedom and stability throughout the hemisphere.
In extending UNMIH the international community renewed its support to Haitian security and stability and continued its much needed assistance to the newly trained, newly deployed Haitian National Police, she said. That would allow the Haitian Government to consolidate and expand its recent political, social and economic advance.
By today's resolution UNMIH would be reduced by more than two thirds in both its military and civilian police components, he said. It instructed the Secretary-General to begin planning no later than June for the mission's withdrawal. "The Security Council's role, and the need for military peace- keepers in Haiti was coming to an end, but it had not ended yet." The resolution was designed to help finish the job. During the next four months, the United States would welcome recommendations from the Secretary-General on further ways that the international community could contribute to Haiti's development, democracy and security.
A new era had now dawned in Haiti, she said. Its Government was committed to providing justice to all its citizens. Nevertheless, an effective and professional national police could not be invented overnight. Today, the most experienced of the national police trainees had only eight months on the job. The police needed more time. The continued presence of a modest number of United Nations peace-keepers would help provide that time and thus reduce the likelihood of violence and disruption.
Her Government was heartened by the decision of Canada to offer itself as a candidate for a leadership role in the next phase of the United Nations mission. It also welcomed the call for voluntary contributions to fulfill the mandate. It urged nations and the relevant international institutions to continue efforts on behalf of the emergency economic recovery programme. The door to private investment should be opened, she said, adding that the future of democratic Haiti depended on an economic programme that recognized and rewarded the initiative of Haiti's people.
The value of the resolution, she said, was also reflected in the unanimous support for it demonstrated by all western hemisphere States. Support for a democratic transition was in the best tradition of inter- American cooperation. It reflected the fact that events in Haiti had had and continued to have, consequences beyond the borders of that country.
Security Council - 19 - Press Release SC/6188 3638th Meeting (Night) 29 February 1996
The Security Council might be proud of its role in helping Haiti to help itself, she said. With its assistance the Haitian people had fashioned an astonishing triumph of hope. That victory was not yet final. It was far from complete. As the resolution recognized the future of Haiti rested -- as it must -- in Haitian hands. Democratic institutions could not be imposed upon a society. They should be nourished from within. The road ahead remained uphill, but the international community could be satisfied that those with the commitment to build a free Haiti now had that opportunity. By allowing that chance, she said the Council had kept faith with the people of Haiti and with the United Nations Charter's pledge to "promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom".
ROBERT R. FOWLER (Canada) said his country had watched the Haitian people with admiration as they pursued the path of democracy, including the transfer of power from one democratically elected President to another. Canada was committed to assisting the Haitians in their pursuit of peace, prosperity and stability and had cooperated in all United Nations efforts to that end. While marking the presence to date, it was also necessary to measure the steps yet to be taken. "Canada is committed to ensuring that democracy in Haiti is deeply rooted."
The international community would have a continuing role to play beyond the specific mandates, he continued. Haiti was engaged in a long-term process of institution-building, economic reconstruction and rehabilitation of its justice system. The international community had an important role to play in assisting that process.
He said it was important to continue to learn the lessons of previous peace-keeping missions. Mandates, and the resources deployed in support of those mandates, could not be considered to be separate and unrelated issues. The resource requirements detailed in the reports of the Secretary-General reflected the best military advice available to him. When the Council failed to heed such advice, significant risk was incurred, sometimes with disastrous consequences. Peace-keeping missions must receive adequate resources, in order to accomplish the mandates set by the Council.
The Secretary-General's military advisers and potential troop contributors considered that a contingent of 1,900 would be the minimum viable force required to accomplish UNMIH's mandate with an acceptable degree of risk. That force would be of sufficient strength to execute the military mission envisaged, and nothing more. It included maintaining a visible United Nations presence throughout the country and providing security for United Nations and other designated persons, including the crucial civilian police.
Given its determination not to abandon Haiti at the current critical stage, the Canadian Government had decided to make available, entirely at its own expense, additional military personnel it considered necessary to enable
Security Council - 20 - Press Release SC/6188 3638th Meeting (Night) 29 February 1996
UNMIH to fulfil its mandate with an acceptable degree of risk to the personnel involved, he said. It would have very much preferred to have seen the Council accept the Secretary-General's recommendations in their entirety. "This is a collective UN responsibility and should be organized and resourced accordingly." However, given the alternative of no force at all, Canada decided to bridge the gap between what the Council could agree on and the Secretary-General's requirements.
The step taken by Canada was "certainly not an ideal arrangement, and not one that we see as providing a model for future UN peace-keeping", he said. All Member States should, through assessed contributions, help shoulder the burden of maintaining international peace and security. However, the interests of the people of Haiti had caused his country to set aside those important considerations in an effort to ensure an effective United Nations mission in Haiti.
* *** *